Working from home may sound like a dream come true at first. You get to sit in your comfortable chair all day, with direct access to all your favorite snacks and beverages. You don’t have to dress up to go to work or even take a shower if you don’t feel like it. Plus, there’s no exhausting daily commute to worry about.
So, what’s the problem?
Simply put, now that 60% of employees are working from home, we’re more aware of the downsides of remote working too.
Those working from home tend to struggle more with work-life balance and feeling as though they’re always “on call” with the office.
Try these tips to reduce feelings of stress associated with working from home.
Create a Dedicated Space
If you didn’t have a spare room or dedicated home office space when the remote work revolution began, you’ve probably felt the impact. Having your own space for work means that you can shut out the distractions of the home environment, including pets and children.
Staking out your territory for remote work also has another major benefit on your stress levels. It ensures that you can find a line between your work life and your family life.
In an ideal world, you’ll want a specific room that you can leave and close the door on at the end of each day. This reminds you to separate your professional and personal lives, so you’re less likely to burn out from working too hard.
Get the Right Equipment
At first, many people switching to remote work during the pandemic were dealing with limited resources. We weren’t prepared for a world of remote and hybrid employees, so we had to make do with what we had, whether it was a poor internet connection or a low-quality webcam.
Today, the excuse of being unprepared just won’t fly. We know that the world of remote work is going to continue growing post-pandemic. If your employer hasn’t invested in technology to make your life easier by now, it’s time to make a request.
You’ll need a solid internet connection, effective communication tools (such as headphones and a microphone), and access to a video camera for video meetings. You’re also going to need to be able to leverage all the software you would have used in the office.
Create a Schedule
A lot of people assume that working from home is fun because you can work whenever you want and take breaks as much as you like. However, the reality is that we often end up glued to our workstations, forgetting to take the breaks that we would usually take in an office setting.
With that in mind, it might be a good idea to create a new schedule for your remote working lifestyle. You can decide whether you want to tackle your tough challenges or easy work first and how often you want to set aside time to go for a cup of coffee, or just take a walk around the house and stretch your legs.
Designing a schedule will also remind you to eat a healthy lunch each day – no matter how hectic your calendar feels. Plus, it gives you a time you can “clock off” each day.
One of the biggest sources of stress for remote workers in today’s digital environment is the feeling of isolation we get when we’re cut off from our peers.
Particularly in an uncertain environment, where people are worried about the health of their loved ones and the future of their employment, it’s important to keep a line of communication going.
It’s important for any business employing remote and hybrid workers to set up regular video chats and communications sessions where people can share their thoughts and discuss their concerns.
If your business leader isn’t arranging these calls for you, then take the initiative and start doing it yourself. Create virtual happy hours with your work pals and arrange times to connect over video.
Be Compassionate With Yourself
Stress is a serious challenge in any workplace, and it’s becoming increasingly worrisome in the age of the pandemic. It’s okay to feel like you need a break from time to time and give yourself a moment to center yourself.
If you find yourself starting to struggle with the various challenges and tasks set for you in your remote working life, speak to someone about it.
Your employer, supervisor, and coworkers are all going through similar experiences to you, which means that they’re there to help and support you when you need it. Be compassionate enough to yourself that you allow yourself to ask for help.
As you get more comfortable with working from home, keep these tips in mind. They’ll help you reduce work-from-home stress so that you can take advantage of the benefits of working from home and enjoy the experience.
Patrick Loke is the founder of Actual Impact Consulting and Portrait Photography Profits. He has over 20 years experience owning and running both online and traditional businesses. He has performed as a sales and marketing consultant to small and medium sized enterprises since 2012.